To date, the state of Pennsylvania has only produced a single president. The 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan was originally from Cove Gap, in southcentral Pennsylvania just north of the Maryland border. But he settled in Lancaster which then served as the state capital. Wheatland was his longtime estate. Today it is a historic site worth visiting, less than two miles from the city center.
Historians would likely tell you that the one-term Buchanan is considered to be one of the worst presidents in US history. This is largely due to his failure to keep the country united. Seven states seceded from the Union under his leadership and shortly thereafter an all-out war broke out once Abraham Lincoln took office.
Regardless of your politics, Wheatland is a fascinating visit. Here you can learn the backstory and get an education on a man that, frankly, most average Americans known little of.
In so many ways Nuremberg’s Germanisches Nationalmuseum, or German National Museum, is reflective of modern Germany. It’s a blending of the old and the new. The antique and the modern. And they are blended in a way that the past is never forgotten. The present is always moving on. Moving forward.
It’s a feeling that hits you from your first moments inside the museum and you see a work of art titled “Hauptstadt.” Created in 1993-1994 by Raffael Rheinsberg, the work is a collection of street signs from the German Democratic Republic. Rheinsberg collected the signs after the fall of the wall before they disappeared. Some are in good condition, others show signs of wear or graffiti. But all are a reflection of where they were from: East Germany.
Located just along the edge of Nuremberg’s historic city center, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum houses the largest collection of “cultural history” in the German-speaking world.
Judging by the photo above of Nemours Mansion and Gardens, where do you think I am? France? Germany? Italy, perhaps? You’d be forgiven for thinking so. But I’m actually in Delaware. That’s right. The First State and the home of tax-free shopping has a magnificent mansion that draws on European influences.
Nemours Mansion and Gardens was the home of Alfred I. du Pont. The massive estate is today open to the public. It’s quite a remarkable home with impressive gardens. In fact, they are the largest formal French gardens in North America. And that’s before you consider that the estate isn’t in Europe and, really, isn’t all that old. It’s a taste of Europe’s royal golden age that is hard to find on this side of the Atlantic.
Munich is full of culture. It’s seemingly everywhere you look. The city is home to many top-rate museums. But as evidenced by two visits in a single week, the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum) is my new favorite. The museum is full of beautiful objects of all kinds. Some are works of art, others are tools of technology and still others are everyday objects. I want to share why you simply shouldn’t miss the museum.
History buffs won’t want to miss Philadelphia because, as you may know, the city played a rather key role in the founding of the country. In the city’s Old City neighborhood, you can see important sites of historic Philadelphia, like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Constitution Hall. It’s a traveler’s delight because many of the most important and interesting historic attractions are free and allow you up-close access. You can easily get it all in within a single day. So strap on your walking shoes and let’s get going. Here’s my guide to a day in Philadelphia for history buffs!
It doesn’t matter if you prefer modern art, impressionism, or street art, there is so much on offer when it comes to the Philadelphia art scene. Philadelphia has been the home and inspiration for countless artists such as Thomas Eakins, Alexander Calder (both Milne and Stirling), and Robert Crumb. The galleries and collections in the city are also incredibly impressive. This is both in terms of quantity and quality. Then add in the public works, like Philadelphia mural arts, and you get an idea of how rich and diverse the city is.
If you only have a single day to see and experience the city and you love art, here is my travel guide and itinerary for Philadelphia art.
To say that Philadelphia played an important role in Colonial America can’t be overstated. The city is home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Important sites like Valley Forge and the Brandywine sit just a stone’s throw away. Yet somehow, the City of Brotherly Love didn’t have a single museum dedicated to the movement that founded the United States of America. Until now! I recently got a chance to get a sneak peek at the brand new Museum of the American Revolution, which opens on Wednesday, April 19th.
Spending a day in Washington, D.C. is a great idea. Spending a day in Washington, D.C. in August (the first day, actually) can cause a traveler to have a second thought. But there I was with a day in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital is full of fantastic options of things to see and do. There’s no shortage of great restaurants and shops. And while the city does have plenty of public transit options — from the subway to buses doing circuits of the most popular tourist attractions — the relatively flat landscape makes for fantastic walking. Yeah, a day in Washington, D.C. is full of fun. Continue reading →
A long weekend in the summer calls for a road trip! So that’s just what we did on Fourth of July weekend. We packed up and headed to Pittsburgh to spend, roughly, 36 hours. From Philadelphia, it is roughly a four or five hour drive across the state. We kissed the puppy goodbye, hit the road early and lucked out with relatively light traffic.
Pittsburgh is a relatively large city and the second largest in the state of Pennsylvania. The Steel City attracts a lot of attention these days and is definitely a trendy location. The city is considered extremely livable, has a foodie reputation, low crime and they’ve got winning sports teams. It’s just the right size for exploring on a brief stop over or a longer excursion. It’s also just the right size to see large portions on foot. But, there are a lot of hills and somethings are spread out so a car can offer much needed convenience.
Here’s a quick guide of what we did and what we say on our whirlwind trip! Yinz ready? (That’s Pittsburgh-ian for “you ready?”) Continue reading →
The steps outside the east entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art are as far as some visitors to the city ever get to the museum’s impressive collection. Ever since Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 run up those steps in Rocky, tourists flock to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. They’re eager to retrace Rocky’s steps. They race up the steps, arms triumphantly raised. At the foot of the steps, along the street, visitors patiently form a line to get their photo taken with a statue of Rocky. Continue reading →
Fans of soccer (or football, if you prefer) flock to Munich to celebrate FC Bayern, Germany‘s most successful football club. Their home at the Allianz Arena on the edge of the city is a spectacular stadium with its seemingly puffy cloud-like exterior. There, you can experience the team in all their glory at FC Bayern Erlebniswelt Museum, seeing them in action (assuming you can get tickets to one of their frequently sold-out matches), or go for an Allianz Arena tour. Even casual fans will find the FC Bayern museum as a fun way to spend an afternoon while exploring Munich!
Prepare to be in awe of the historic paintings, priceless jewels, and lavish decor on display at the Munich Residenz. Visiting the Residenz Palace in downtown Munich, Germany involves a lot of commitment. Put on your most comfortable walking shoes, clear your calendar for the entire day and eat a large, filling breakfast because you’re going to need it. Please do not consider this advice. It is a necessity. It can seem impossible to see all that the Residenz has to offer, or even part. But it sure is a fun challenge!